The most pernicious perceptual illusion

Greetings!

Thank you to those who have responded to my call for like-minded people to take my projects to the next step… I’m looking forward to co-creating. To reiterate my call:

I am putting together a team.  If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you.

You can email me at – drjeisen@gmail.com

My current website is – www.drjeffeisen.com

My new website (in development) is – www.in-sane.net

With this post I conclude my series of essays on ways in which our perceptions present us with an illusory interpretation of reality.  In brief, I have described how our perceptions 1) Give us only the information ‘we need to know’ to survive; 2) make people and things appear to be physical objects in a material world; 3) make each of us seem to be at the center of that world; 4) ‘thingify’ or separate what we perceive into ‘things’ we can name; 5) separate ‘self’ from ‘other,’ evoking an egoic territory of self-interest; 6) make each of us seem to be an individual; 7) make sense of our world by how it compares and relates to our ‘self;’ and 8) give us the appearance of constancy in an ever-changing universe. Here is the ninth and final aspect of perception that I discuss in the series.

THE MOST PERNICIOUS PERCEPTUAL ILLUSION

The ninth and most pernicious way perception creates an illusion occurs when connected, living beings are perceived as separate and made into things – and ‘things’ are dead. As things, living beings become stripped of their beingness. Thus, people can think of them as having no inside, no consciousness, no feelings to take into account, not even any experience of pain, nothing at all to consider. Thus, living beings can be treated and used as commodities. Thus, we humans, we perceivers can create industrial agriculture, mistreat, slaughter and eat animals, extinguish entire species, make war on and kill one another, and even endanger the survival of our home, that thing called Earth.

The ninth evolutionary benefit – the illusion of the separation and subsequent thingification of living beings – is hard to see as an evolutionary benefit. It is the latest perceptual illusion to arise and is the correlate of the illusions of materialism and the separation of self and other. It arose simultaneously with the evolution of language and, of course, enabled the continuous evolution of it.

As words became symbols for things, the other parts of speech modified and rearranged these symbols, while at the same time conserving what they pointed to. In this way, separation and thingification are beneficial, at least from some aspects of the human perspective. In fact, they are part of the reason why humanity is taking over the earth. Because without them, you could not think about things – as things, and without that logic, science and technology would never have come into existence.

Finally, we come to the perceptual illusion itself, which also has problematic and beneficial aspects.  The problem is that in creating an illusory picture of reality, perception keeps you from seeing things as they really are.  The benefit – and it is a considerable one – is that this illusory picture of reality is user-friendly. It automatically organizes and interprets reality in the most efficient way for the perceiver.  Without the perceptual illusion we would be lost, floundering in a miasma of relativity.

All of the above are paradoxes.  They are examples of the drawbacks and benefits of the perceptual illusion, but there are even more aspects to it. These are the underlying dynamics of the way perception works which lead us to the unconscious and unwarranted assumption that these are also the ways that aperceptual reality works.

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Whole-system change is real… and imperceptible

Greetings!

If you have been following me and are familiar with my website, you know the quality of my thinking and writing. And now, I would like to do more.  I would especially like to reach out to younger generations… but with a combination of humor and sanity.

I want to put together a team.  I am looking for like-minded people to take my projects to the next step.  If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc.; or even if you just have time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you.

You can email me at – drjeisen@gmail.com

My current website is – www.drjeffeisen.com

My new website is – www.in-sane.net (in development; 1st page only is relevant)

Dr. Jeff

(P.S. If you volunteer, you’ll get free training in PsychoNoetics…)

Now back to the search for what is real…
This is the fourth essay in a 5-essay series on the perceptual illusion.
It presents the 6-8th ways that our understanding of reality is limited and made false by the ways we perceive ourselves and the world around us. It moves toward the awareness that
WHOLE-SYSTEM CHANGE IS REAL… AND IMPERCEPTIBLE


The  sixth way perception creates an illusion is by creating the illusion of being an individual.  Of course, it is related to both the illusions of separation, and the separation of self and other. However, it is such a central illusion that it bears pointing out.

The illusion of being an individual is also the sixth evolutionary benefit, for without it the whole house of cards, the entirety of the perceptual illusion, both the drawbacks and the benefits – would collapse.

The seventh way perception creates an illusion is by relationship. The perceiving organism implicitly relates and compares everything to its Self, or, by extension, a projection of its Self – on every level of complexity and every dimension of beingness.  Thus, things can be classified as better or worse, nearer or further, more or less.

However, the seventh evolutionary benefit is also the illusion of relationship. The organism in question uses these relationships to make sense of the world.  Without relationships, both explicit and implicit, without better and worse, nearer and further, hotter and colder, one can‘t have descriptions, qualities or values: like temperature, location, weight, size, etc. Without comparisons, without things, one is just left with the ‘isness’ of aperceptual reality.

Another, little seen aspect of the perceptual illusion of relationship or comparison is ‘scale.’ The universe is vast, comprising things too small to see with the naked eye, and too large to see in their entirety without standing backway back. This holds true whether the distance one stands back is measured in microns, meters, or light-years. And, of course, the same principle extends (variably) to all dimensions: weight, distance, force or strength, etc. But if we were to change size radically, to go to a completely different scale (on the powers of 10), or if we were a lot smaller or bigger, the scale by which we perceived would also change.

Humans perceive on the human scale, cells perceive on the cellular scale. The size of the perceiving organism in question determines the scale of perception, and the sensory organs are calibrated to that scale.

The eighth way perception creates an illusion is the appearance of constancy.  However, since the lack of constancy is disorientating – to say the least, the appearance of constancy is also the eighth benefit.

Imagine the universe as a balloon. As it expands the ‘apparent’ distances between heavenly bodies, even the internal distances within atoms and molecules, ‘seem to’ increase, while all other dimensions increase or contract simultaneously.  However, without a point of reference as a comparison, it is impossible to perceive these changes. Determination, location or measurement requires one or more fixed coordinates to use as a constant.  There are no still coordinates or absolute constants in the universe, only relative ones. Since fixed constants don’t exist, nothing can be determined or measured absolutely.  So even though all dimensions change, in the absence of fixed coordinates, the changes cannot be determined, documented or measured.  In fact, they are unnoticeable.

Whole system change is imperceptible.

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Continuing the search for what is real

Greetings!

One month into the new year… moving quickly into this 21st century, it seems more and more important that we have clarity about what is real. Below I continue my ‘investigative reporting’ on the perceptual illusion. Many philosophers and wise people have trod this ground, but it continues to be our operating system, getting us deeper and deeper into the mud of our human nature.

 In December’s post I offered three ways in which our bodies select and process information: 1) Giving us only the information ‘we need to know’ to survive; 2) making people and things appear to be physical objects in a material world; 3) making each of us seem to be at the center of that world. Here I outline two more ways in which the perceptual illusion carries us toward the divisiveness we currently experience in our world.

 You might try joining my investigation by opening to the energies behind my words, sort of like you experience your peripheral vision when you’re focusing on something. ‘See’ what comes to you, and let me know…

Toward greater awareness and better choices,

Jeff

Continuing the Search for What is Real

The fourth way perception creates an illusion is by separation. We see a world and the universe populated by separate ‘things,’* particles, atoms, cells, organs, plants, animals, even people. We perceive things as separate, and we believe what we see, but as Arthur Koestler, Ken Wilber and others have pointed out, in reality everything is interconnected, every boundary is also a connection.

[*Perception divides continuous reality into separate things. The word thing is a Mobius (my term for any word or concept that has two or more meanings, with an invisible transition between them). The concept of a thing is an artifact of perception, and it and its equivalents are the basic building blocks of every language (because every language is more or less perceptually-based). Without saying ‘thing’ – or some equivalent, you cannot refer to anything, but at the same time it points to an illusion, a figment of perception.]

Every organism and/or Self is simultaneously both individual and collective; that describes both the smallest unit of life and the largest collective, on any and all possible dimensions, ‘physical, and cognitive/emotional.’ Thus, individuals become inter-relational bodies or collectives, both ‘physical collectives,’ such as cells, organs, plants and animals, and ‘cognitive/emotional /social/economic’ collectives or extended Selves in the form of organizations – i.e., families, religions, corporations and even nations.

The fourth evolutionary benefit is the illusion of separation, without which it would be impossible to make the necessary distinction between self and other. But perception does make the distinction between self and other, which is the fifth way perception creates an illusion. In the perceptual illusion the self is always the perceiver, and the ‘other’ is the thing perceived.

But in aperceptual reality there are no perceivers and perceived, no selves and no others – no such distinctions exist. There is only one, interconnected universe.

With the distinction between ‘self’ and ‘other,’ the ego arises. The ego is a concept, the ‘I’ concept, and this concept creates a platform to perceive from. But it’s more, much more. It’s also the consciousness of owning one’s own experience; it’s the awareness of ‘I am,’ of this is me and not you. It is also the awareness of privileged access, exclusive access to one’s own thoughts and feelings. And it is the awareness that nobody shares my inside, but me. Even if I want them to, even if I strive to describe my experience, the most vivid description I can come up with inevitably pales alongside the experience itself.

In a sense people own their egos, and in that sense they have a tendency to take all the credit for anything good onto themselves, and project the blame for anything that goes wrong onto others. This illusion, call it the illusion of self-ownership, also leads to the desire to control things.

The ego is part of the perceptual illusion; but at the same time it’s real. It’s a real experience – in consciousness – and consciousness is not only real, it is a primary dimension and the irreducible quality of all life.

If the fifth way that perception creates an illusion is the separation of self and other, this is a precondition for selfish self-interest and its accompanying territoriality.  However, this same illusion is also necessary for survival as an organism, which again is a benefit –the fifth benefit.  In selfish self-interest we are protective of our both our individual and extended ‘self,’ but exploit everything else.

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Taking Back God from the Atheists

HD Wallpaper 482

Taking back God from the atheists (featured content on Dr. Jeff Eisen’s new, upcoming book, The God Book)

A few years ago there was a lot of talk about the new atheists, writers and public speakers (Like Richard Dawkins) who argued vociferously against the existence of God. They argue against the Old and New Testament depictions of God as a paternalistic personage who is the Creator of the universe, also omnipotent, beyond reproach and fulfilling a plan which is ultimately both all-inclusive and completely benevolent.  Their arguments were actually attacks on true believers and the Judeo-Christian religions, attacks which dwelled on the internal inconsistencies, the claimed miracles and the scientific fallacies with which the Bible contains, and upon which true believers based their claims for the existence of God.

These new atheists fancied themselves the vanguard of progressive thinking, but the truth is that they were just erecting (or more accurately accepting) a strawman, and then knocking him down. In doing so, despite their arrogance and intellectual pretensions, they exhibited no more thoughtfulness than the religionists they oppose. Not only were both in error, they were both in the same error, just on different sides of it.

Of course God does not exist as the bible portals him: an omnipotent puppeteer, creating both the set (Universe) and the puppets and then pulling the strings. As a matter of fact God does not exist as any-thing at all. But this does not mean that God does not exist! God does exist, but not as a thing, and not necessarily under that name.  God exists as the substrate of consciousness beneath all forms, the force animating all life, the Oneness common to all the separate things.  Just as the material world of form does not exist except as a perceptual experience of quantum level reality, so God does not exist except as an experience of the selfsame perception. The point is not to invalidate these biblical myths of God; any rationalistic idiot can do that. The point is to go beyond the thingness attributed to God, to the universal experience, the universal longing, the universal premonition of something more, something basic, something sacred, something mysterious, and ask “what is being experienced in this longing “?

But before both the devout and the atheists can do that, they have to face the psychological roots both in their belief in God and their rejection of God, their need to believe and their need not to believe! 

 The need to believe in God has many roots. One of these is humanity’s desire for a good, loving, parent, someone to take care of them and to keep them safe through all the hardships of life: famine, floods, disease and war. To do this that parent has to be all-powerful. In other words that parent has to be Godlike. Another root is the fear of death. Everyone dies, yet if you believe in the biblical God and you play your cards right your soul will go to heaven – where it will live forever.

Yet another root is the need to make sense out of a senseless existence in a senseless world.  A mature mind can find sense in the unfolding of natural processes… the Tao, evolution, entropy, randomness etc., and can accept chance and meaninglessness as well. But the childish mind, the mind that has not yet accepted the limitations of the parents, while rejecting both the protection and their authority, and thus always looks to them for guidance, sense, meaning, coherence, can only be found in a plan.  Any plan must be preconceived in a mind, and the biggest plan of all, the plan for the universe, must preexist in the mind of God. It must be part of God’s plan.

For these childish minds, these true believers and unbelievers, these needy ones (and that category includes most of the human race) there are no end of people waiting to exploit their weaknesses. The majority of these are true believers themselves, sharing the same weakness, the same need for self-delusion. But some are spiritual predators, deceiving others for money, power and prestige. These people are lost souls, true monsters, and the belief systems, the deceptions, both religious and atheistic that they insinuate into our institutions, be they churches, governments, schools or helping professions are the real work of the devil.

The atheists, the scoffers, the people who fervently deny God are on the other pole of the same dimension. Their problem is really hidden despair. So deep is their discouragement, so limitless is their alienation that they reject their own souls. They are one-dimensional men and women, rationalists, materialists. They treat themselves, their children and the world as things, and things can be qualified, compared and consumed.  That the biblical God should exist is unthinkable, but that there should be a dimension of being, a soul dimension beyond the material, yet experienceable, is very probable.

The point is not to tear down this catchall and paternalistic concept of God, this pathetic misconception, this belief born of desperation and matured by misdirection.  The point is to replace arrogance with compassion, to understand the biblical God’s roots in human misery and human need, and to address the real, underlying problems without attacking the popular solutions, because only then will the majority of humanity mature enough to turn away from primitive beliefs and find their Selves; only when the underlying disease is cured will the symptoms abate.

The first step in this endeavor is to replace the biblical God with the real deal, to go back to the early Gnostic conceptions of God, the sacred philosophies and psychologies of Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, contemporary non-duality and the esoteric teachings of the other great religions. These, properly understood, will give people a real source of comfort and security, a real resting place for their souls, a real intimation of immortality.

For the need and the experience of God, call it whatever name you will, has been arising in the human heart since the dawn of humanity. The time has come to break free of the spell of religion, with its urging to take the biblical Gods seriously, and with its equally preposterous assigning to the category of godlessness all those who resist. The time has also come to deeply explore and understand the roots of this experience, rather than just mocking the absurdities of the various scriptures.

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PsychoNoetics as Buddhist Healing

In many ways PsychoNoetics fits squarely within the Buddhist tradition and can be seen as Buddhist healing. First of all it, like the whole of Buddhism, is a program for escaping suffering. What’s more, the conception of suffering is the same in PsychoNoetics and Buddhism, namely it is the suffering we create for ourselves. Furthermore the origination and continuation of suffering are seen in the same way in PsychoNoetics and Buddhism. Some of these similarities are:

The laws of cause and effect (karma), as they are held and work in the consciousness of the individual. (On the level of the physical body as well as the enoeic {karmic or soul} and egoic levels)
The ways in which karmic cause-and-effect work through perception, both sensory and cognitive.
The way sensory and cognitive perception is formed through prior learning and the way prior learning is formed through perception creating an unconscious feedback loop.
The way this feedback loop needs to be brought to consciousness before it can be revised.
The need to gradually revise this feedback loop by letting go of the beliefs, emotions and intentions, (BEI’s) that underlie these perceptions.

Some Differences

PsychoNoetics of course differs from Buddhism in the means or technology to revise these beliefs. The principal technologies of Buddhism are meditation, education, insight and affirmation. To these, PsychoNoetics adds autokinesiological testing and intentional clearing.

In PsychoNoetics, the first and by far the most significant clearing is Karmic clearing or memory clearing. In this, consciousness itself is cleared of a stream of memories, whether they originated in a past lifetime or the present one. This washes clean the window of perception.

Although autokinesiological testing and intentional clearing are an addition to Buddhist techniques they are an addition that creates further differences. One of these is that, as the clearing proceeds, the mind holds fewer obstacles to stillness so there is less need for meditation.

The other big difference is that, while the pointing, inquiry and understanding aspects of Buddhist education are not only retained but emphasized, PsychoNoetics eschews all beliefs and affirmations for the path of letting go, of neti neti, not this not that. While this is not in accord with all Buddhist teaching, it does agree with the highest Buddhist teaching.
Nonattachment

Even beyond beliefs, Buddhism teaches that attachment is the root of all suffering and that letting go of attachments is one of the gateways to enlightenment. Not only is PsychoNoetics in agreement with this, it extends the principal from the psychospiritual level to the physical level. One of its discoveries is that all sorts of dis-eases, from allergies and autoimmune disorders to toxic reactions, diseases and even injuries can be “energy blocks and imbalances”, and are the physical analogs to psychospiritual beliefs and attachments. Following this insight, the diagnosis and treatment of physical dis-ease converges with the diagnosis and treatment of psychospiritual dis-ease.
Presence or Nirvana

Finally PsychoNoetics, like Buddhism, points to an unknowable place, a place beyond words, beyond any designation, a place of no-thingness in which some no-thing arises. That which arises when the causes of dis-ease are cleared is absolute ease, ultimate well-being. It is calm, clarity and compassion. It is inner freedom. It is presence, the presence of that state Buddhism calls Nirvana. And it heals the body as well as the mind and spirit.

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Letting go to love

Love is not the answer! It is not the solution to all life’s problems. Rather it is where you go to when the answer is found, when the problem is finally solved. Love is the state of being that underlies the mind’s struggle. It is bliss; it is home; it is Self, it is where you rest – when, at last, you can let yourself rest!

Love is not the answer; it is the reason we look for answers. It is the destination, the reward, the safety, security. To relax in a state of love, that feeling of all rightness, is what we are fighting for, struggling for, saving for, at times even hoarding for.

Doing and Being

In order to solve our problems, we need our mind, our will and, of course, our actions. We need to think about things, plan ahead, take care of the future. We need to get up, suit up and show up. We need to pay the bills and the taxes. We need to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. If we neglect these things, if we rely only on love to supply the answer, the problems of our lives are going to multiply until they reach the point where the only way we can stay in the energy of love is with the oblivion and denial of alcohol and/or drugs.

We all have to struggle in one way or another; it is a law of existence. We have to go to school. We have to work. We even have to scheme. We have to do what we have to do in order to survive. However, we must not let ourselves lose sight of what we are struggling for. For survival, even material success, even fame is not enough. Sure, we have to create the conditions of safety and security for ourselves, but we also have to keep conscious of what we are creating these conditions for – which is to let ourselves relax, relax into love.

Old World War II movies always portrayed soldiers with pinups of Betty Grable over their bunks to remind them of the life they were fighting for, a small town life, a backyard life, little sister, mom’s apple pie, high school and baseball, just being kids. But these things that reminded them of home, were really reminders of everything home stood for, the safety of being cared for by a caring world, the lost ability to relax – into love.

Increasingly, we have become like soldiers who have lost track of what they are fighting for, who have lost the memory of home, who are just fighting on automatically, unconsciously – so without a goal, an ultimate meaning, that at the end of the day, when the enemy is vanquished, there is no peace to come home to and the only choice is to re-enlist in and find another enemy to fight.

So, struggle is not the answer, but neither is love. We must tend to business, but not let business be the business of our lives. On the other hand, we must relax into love, but not stay there religiously, not rely upon it. A balance has to be struck, a balance between struggle and love, between what we have to do to allow ourselves to relax into love, and that relaxation itself.

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The Speechless Mind

Greetings!

Another foray into clarity… another request for assistance. Still exploring for truth… still called toward a light-hearted sanity-for-the-times and looking for like-minded people to partner in SANE (Society for Aliens oN Earth).

Here’s the pitch: If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

 My contact info and websites: drjeffreyeisen@gmail.com, www.drjeffeisen.com, and www.in-SANE.net (placeholder for now).

Here’s the blog, what I can say about the pure consciousness so needed now, beyond the perceptual illusion…

Best, Jeff

THE SPEECHLESS MIND

Awakening is not the goal… it is the starting point!

We experience the speechless mind and know that we are that. This is the beginning – the beginning of awakening and the beginning of what lies ahead. But just what is it that I am calling the speechless mind, a.k.a. Buddha mind, still mind, Christ or God consciousness, the void, Oneness or nonduality. It is just consciousness – consciousness without content, without an object, without intention, without identification, without boundaries; it is just consciousness without any thing to be conscious of – and thus, without anything to say.

The understanding, the experience, the realization of the speechless mind is the beginning of awakening, and is the starting point for all real spiritual transformation. But there is a tremendous amount of confusion about it in spiritual circles. The speechless mind is right there to be experienced and anyone can do it anytime. But first you must know precisely what to look for. What the speechless mind is – and what it is not!

What does this speechless mind feel like? 

In itself, it feels like nothing. In itself, it has no emotional charge whatsoever. However, like hitting your head against the wall and then stopping, it does offer relief and relief does have a charge, one that feels like whatever stopping what you were doing feels like.  So, if your consciousness is dwelling on something, and then you move it away, that is going to feel like something. If the contents of your consciousness are negative, rage, sadness, money or health worries, and you turn them away, you’re going to feel freedom and relief and you are going to want to pursue these emotions. On the other hand, if the contents of your consciousness are positive, like success, or pleasurable, like good food or good sex, turning away is going to feel like a loss and you are going to resist it. (This shines some light on why unhappy, unsuccessful people are more likely to turn to spiritual paths than happy, successful ones.)

Many spiritual seekers confused about this point and are looking for a certain kind of experience. They have heard about peak experiences, spontaneous satoris, states of oneness or enlightenment, where the associated feeling states are of vastness, unlimited freedom, immense power and all-pervasive love. Understandably, they want these experiences for themselves, so they set out in pursuit of them. Then, if they don’t get them, they think that what they have can’t be right, so they don’t value it and they go on searching…

Or perhaps they have had an experience of the speechless mind themselves, either spontaneously or in a spiritual workshop, and it felt great – suddenly they were in ecstasy, suddenly they loved everyone in the room, suddenly all of their problems seemed to melt into insignificance, suddenly they understood, suddenly everything seemed all right, perfect even, and there was nothing that needed doing. Suddenly, they experienced vastness, or bliss, or compassion – and they said to themselves, “Yes, this is what it feels like, this is what it is.”

But the feelings didn’t last; ordinary life swallowed them up. So, they set out in pursuit of a repeat performance. Perhaps they tried a longer meditation or a different kind of meditation. Perhaps they went to another workshop or consulted a “yet higher” spiritual teacher, or perhaps they changed from Vedanta to Buddhism, or vice versa. And maybe the experience was repeated and maybe it wasn’t. And maybe it was weaker or different, and maybe it was disappointing and maybe it was even better. But whatever it was, it too didn’t last.

And so, in pursuit of the original high or an even greater high, the seeker became the spiritual junkie, trying different drugs in higher and higher doses – not understanding that what they are searching for is in their hands; in fact, it is that which is doing the searching – but it feels like nothing. In fact, it is invisible.

So, absolute consciousness, the speechless mind, feels like nothing because it is nothing.  It is just empty, and empty consciousness is literally no-thing. In itself, the speechless mind is a void. It is only when you stop doing what you were doing or feeling what you’re feeling, that, in the release, another feeling state presents itself. So, when you turn your attention away from contraction and towards the void, the speechless mind feels vast. Likewise, when you turn your attention away from separation, it seems all-encompassing; when you turn away from your emotions, it seems free; when you turn away from conditionality and againstness, it seems compassionate; and when you turn it away from the limits of beliefs and the confinement of body, it seems – well – unlimited. Absence feels like relief, relief from whatever you have been putting your mind on. It is like stopping banging your head against a wall.

What does experiencing from the speechless mind feel like?

There is yet another source of confusion about the nature of the speechless mind, and that comes from the feeling of experiencing from the speechless mind rather than experiencing it directly. After you become awake, after you withdraw attention from all that you are doing, intending, feeling, thinking, believing and even sensing, and relax into the speechless mind, after you do this, you start experiencing what is – de-void of what you are bringing to it. And this what is, whatever it may be, is very different from the way it seemed before you awakened.

The qualities you experience from the speechless mind, once you are there, are the qualities of reality as it is. But there is more, there is a great feeling of clarity, of effortlessness, of seeing, of comprehending. If you focus your attention on something, you seem to know all about it. If you ask yourself a question, the answer seems to come.  And depending on where you focus your attention, or even just if you focus your attention, the world seems transformed. People seem to take on an energy, and that energy is strangely understandable. They may exude light or they may seem lifeless.  Even the space around you changes. It may seem full of potential, or it may seem stagnant, dark even foreboding. Suddenly, you are living in a world that appears meaningful even without thinking about it.

When you withdraw attention from the contents of your own consciousness, you may become psychically open to other people’s consciousness, or even to collective consciousness, and this, too, can become a source of confusion. Thoughts and feelings, both welcome and unwelcome, come to you unbidden. It becomes difficult to distinguish your own material from what you are getting from others. This opening makes you susceptible to all sorts of outside presences, friendly and not so friendly. Other people’s thoughts and feelings, attachments and aversions start coming through you, and if you are not fully aware, you can easily mistake them for your own. Not only that, if you’re not familiar with your weaknesses and needs, you can be unconsciously inviting these alien presences in. 

Awakening is serious stuff.  It is not to be trifled with. Once you are on the path, you have to go all the way, or you become lost. So, when outside presences start coming in, it is time to set boundaries into place; it is time to practice discrimination and decide what – if anything – you are going to let through. My rule of thumb is not to let through anything that does not come from the level of Christ or Buddha consciousness – that is, not to entertain any thoughts and feelings that have not come from a presence that in itself is fully awake.

But there is even a problem with this, which is that even being fully awake is not enough. It is what you do with this awakeness that counts. Not only do you have to go to the speechless mind, you have to use it as a platform from which to let go further. Only full enlightenment, Level II Enlightenment, the alignment of the ego with the Self, is enough – and there have been few people, in any age, that have even understood that – let alone attained it.

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We must master the art of being in two identities at once

Reality is not anthropocentric; it is not even perceptual-centric. The only thing that is perceptual-centric is perception itself. Each and every individual perceives as a separate center of the cosmos. This center is the experiential starting place for all creatures – including ourselves. From this center we see from our eyes, hear through our ears, touch through our skin, smell through our noses and taste through our tongues.

But as humans, we also have the capacity to learn, and one of the things that we can learn is that the position we experience at the center of our world doesn’t really mean that we are all-important and the center of everything. Everything that we have learned, we once were not aware of – we have learned.

That other people are important, have an equal right to exist and have something to say – we have learned. That we are just one, insignificant individual among over 6 billion people, and that we inhabit a planet, circling around a star, with other planets in the solar system, which is just one of many solar systems in the galaxy, which is just one of a vast number of galaxies in the cosmos – we have learned. Even that we are a part of and dependent upon a vast, interconnecting, relational system – we have learned.

Most of what we have learned in this regard is true, but that truth does not replace the assumptions inherent in the way we perceive; it just overlays it. We all begin our lives in experience, and this experience from the center continues to form us. In the apparent truth of the way we perceive, we are the center of the world, which means that we all begin our lives out of reality and in illusion. We might come to know better, but we never perceive better.

And whatever else we know, we still believe what we see – and just as our beliefs are the meaning of our feelings, our feelings are the experience of our beliefs. For most of us, most of the time – this fusion of feelings and beliefs, experience and content, continues to determine our behavior – even though we might have learned and know better.

Enlightened Self-Interest

Our identity starts out as – and continues to be formed by – our perception of ourselves from and, therefore, as the center of the world. Not only that, but in order to survive and evolve, we must continue to identify with and act from this perception.

But that which we have learned about (that which is what we are in the absolute context) is that we are only a center of the world. Our identity as a holon (both a part and a whole) in the vast system that encloses and sustains us, is our real identity.* In this reality we are not the center of the world, but at once both a part and the totality of the universe. In order to survive and progress as a civilization, we must also identify with and act from this as well.

We must master the art of being simultaneously in two identities.

So, we have no choice but to proceed as if we – not necessarily as individual beings, but as part of the human race, even part of the species of life – are the center of the world. In that respect our survival is of paramount importance.

We must keep in mind, however, that we are also, completely dependent upon the cosmic ecology. Its well-being is our well-being; its survival is our survival. This is a paradox, a duality to which there is no synthesis. Instead, we are called upon to simultaneously entertain both identities, perceptual and learned,* animal and human, biological and spiritual. Holding these two, separate viewpoints and identities simultaneously is part of the philosophy of enlightened self-interest.

*The learned or real identity which we can only fully realize as we become enlightened.

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Trapped in the 21st Century

Greetings!

Several weeks ago, I read an article written by Jon Mooallem about the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California last fall. Embedded videos alongside the text graphically demonstrated how people were trapped by the fire, while the author described the context in which fires will increasingly threaten us as ‘trapped in the 21st century.’ The phrase stayed with me, and the following essay is my realization of the truth of it.

It is also my motivation for the SANE project I envision and anchor at www.in-sane.net. I’m looking for individuals similarly called to help develop a website-based outreach of clearing and sanity. If you’re interested in volunteering to work with me, please contact me at DrJeffreyEisen@gmail.com, and I will get back to you.

-Jeff

Trapped in the 21st-century

There’s no doubt about it; we human beings are emotional creatures first and rational creature last – if at all.  This includes all of us, you, me, everybody.  Primate evolution makes no exceptions.  As an emotional species, we tend to make the wrong decisions for both the wrong and right reasons.  The sum total of these decisions has finally brought us to a global crisis, one that is threatening our very survival.

It’s not just one country which is in crisis; it’s the entire world.  And the crisis is not just climate change and its effects, causes and deniers – nor is it over-population, or immigration or ISIS or corporate greed or too much governmental regulation or not enough, or democracy, socialism, communism or totalitarianism or too many taxes, or too little freedom, or corporate greed or the top 1% or even the scarcity economy.  It’s all of these things and more – much more.  It is the entire system. It is the culture we live and believe in.

We need to back away from this developing crisis, but in order to do that we need to change the decisions we make, and in order to do that we have to change ourselves.  We have to change our consciousness.  We have to change from being emotional creatures making emotional decisions to being emotional creatures making rational decisions, but then carrying them out emotionally, with passion and commitment.  In order to do that, we have to develop the capacity to witness our emotions, take them into account, then consider the big picture – while taking into account that other people are emotional creatures too, and tend to let themselves be ruled by their emotions.

We need help; we need to help ourselves change.  And for that, we need to learn to do something, and then actually do it.

There are two things we can learn which will do that.  One is meditation.  Meditation has been around a long time and it works – but it is tedious.  Its effects are not permanent, it takes a long time to do, and you have to do it repeatedly.  In fact, its practice becomes a way of life.

The other is something that I have been developing for a long time, which has none of these drawbacks.  It is a form of mental hygiene I have named PsychoNoetics or PsychoNoetic clearing.  I have condensed it into a short form that I call the SANE process.  It is quick to do and not only permanent, but additive in its effects, although practicing it also becomes a way of life.

 

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Looking out for Number One

Greetings!

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know the unfolding of my thinking and writing toward sanity and the bigger picture. And you know that I’m looking for like-minded people to partner in a next step that’s coming to me… SANE (Society for Aliens oN Earth).

If you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

You can email me at – drjeffreyeisen@gmail.com

My current website is – www.drjeffeisen.com

My new website (placeholder for now) is – www.in-SANE.net

Below is a recent essay I’ve written about the personal complexity we must overcome in order to make sane decisions during these times.

-Jeff

LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE

Most people, the great majority are intrinsically good.  For the most part, our hearts are in the right place.  But we share one problem – we are all busy looking out for number one. 

But what is number one?  It’s not just the physical survival of our bodies, although it usually starts with that.  It is our identity.

Following the evolutionary mandate to survive, we defend not only our physical body, but also every aspect of our identity as if it is life itself. And we all have multiple aspects to our identity.  They start with the survival, health and well-being of our bodies and the bodies of those close to us – our spouses, our children, our parents, even our friends, but they don’t end there – not nearly.  First of all, there is the idea of well-being for all of them.  And there is a lot to be unpacked with that idea: happiness, comfort, satisfaction, accomplishment and a feeling of worldly success just make up the short list.  The long list would fill the page.

Our identity also includes the totality of the beliefs and emotions that make up our personality, and then, there are the organizations that we belong to and the roles we play in them. Then, for some there are religious beliefs and the place to go to worship; there is citizenship in a nation, i.e., a national identity, or a quasi-racial identity like Jewish or Negro, or membership in a team – bowling or baseball.  And then, there are the causes, pro and con that we are identified with: women’s rights, vaccination, climate change – or simply the right to choose.

All of these are identities.  In fact, just life itself, if it is an idea, something to hold onto, can be an identity.

So, the evolutionary problem is defending our identity as if it is our life.  But there is another problem, as well, a problem some of these identities share, especially the cognitive emotional ones: they are partial – one-sided.  They don’t take into account the big picture.  What about other people, other belief systems, other countries, other races, other sports and other teams?  What about the causes we are for or against, and most of all, the other sides of the causes?

What about the big picture?  Is no one going to take that into account?  Is no one going to be open to it?  Is no one going to make openness a part of their identity?

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More unnoticed assumptions underlying the Perceptual Illusion

 Greetings!

As you follow the list of the previous blog with this one, you may find yourself becoming ‘disillusioned’ with much of human civilization, including science, and keenly curious to know what is real beyond all the underlying assumptions. Stay with me here, and as you begin to ‘see’ more of the illusion, answers may begin to arise in you…

Stay tuned within… (and here) for more…

Best, Jeff

MORE UNNOTICED ASSUMPTIONS UNDERLYING THE PERCEPTUAL ILLUSION

7. The assumption that everything moving thing is moving in a single direction. Actually, everything is simultaneously moving in multiple directions.  (The earth is revolving around the sun, while spinning, while moving in the galaxy – which is either expanding or being sucked into a black hole, while being part of an expanding universe, etc.).

A. The assumption that every moving thing is moving at one velocity. (All of the above examples take place at different speeds.)

8. The assumption that everything is either motionless or moving. Actually, they are both, and in some ways, motion equals stillness (for another time).

9. The assumption that space separates things, whereas in reality it both separates and connects.

10. The assumption of the existence of the fundamental particle – and the resulting search for it.

11. The assumptions that reality consists of separate, physical things separated by empty space, instead of inter-relational bodies of either charge or charge plus consciousness.

A. In aperceptual reality there are no material things. Space is not empty; it transmits consciousness (among other forces) and at the same time merges with it to make a field. (In fact, it transmits consciousness by merging with it.) The field of space-consciousness, though invisible, does not separate things; it connects them. It is the invisible medium of connection.

12. The assumption of significance.

A. We assume that the earliest evolutionary corrective is the most significant, and we are always trying to discover the root cause of things. But in the aperceptual reality of general evolution, it is the other way around.  The latest thing to emerge defines the present; thus, it is most significant and should be recognized as such.

13. The assumption of the need to know.

A. The need to know what is wrong in order to fix the body-mind is another underlying assumption of the perceptual illusion. (In aperceptual reality the Self knows, and the Self is consciousness –and all you have to do is ask it.)  However, this illusion is the reason that people tend not to think for themselves and rather rely on external authorities.  The same illusion is also the motivation for the monetization of knowledge, the professionalization of expertise, and the territoriality (including exclusive language or jargon) that is a characterizing feature of all trades, specialties and professions.

B. The perceptual illusion is (at least partially) responsible for the creation of human nature. And the need to know is a principle connection between human nature and the socioeconomic environment (i.e., the scarcity economy) that we have both created for ourselves and are continually affirming through our every evolving institutions.

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Underlying, but Largely Unnoticed Assumptions of the Perceptual Illusion

The perceptual illusion is an appearance, sometimes even a hallucination (in that cognitive information takes a perceptual and sometimes even sensory form). But escaping the perceptual illusion is even more than escaping that appearance; it is becoming aware of our underlying assumptions about the way reality works, then going beyond them.  It is re-conceptualizing and re-visioning the very dynamics of reality.

The master assumption of the perceptual illusion, that which encompasses all of the underlying assumptions, is the assumption of duality.  Beginning and end, inside and outside, creator and creation, here and nowhere, moving and still, separation and connection, even existence and nonexistence – all and more are dualities.  All of the contents of the perceptual illusion conspire to create the assumption that reality is dual.  This assumption, more than any other, is both ubiquitous and unnoticeable – but at the same time, it inescapably taints our conception of reality.

Underlying and dualistic assumptions of the perceptual illusion

  1. The assumption that everything that exists has to have a beginning.
  2. The assumption that everything that exists has an inside and outside.
    1. The universe is a universal inside – or is it? If there is a boundary to the universe, what is outside of that boundary?  Sooner or later we have to run out of boundaries, and then we are left with no outside, just an inside everywhere.  On the other hand, if there is no boundary to the universe – and, of course, there isn’t, how can we even say there is an inside and outside?  An inside and outside of what?
  3. The assumption that everything has a reason and/or an explanation for its existence.
    1. The causal explanation – everything that exists has to have a cause.
    2. The creation explanation – everything that exists must in some way have been created.
    3. The teleological explanation,e., original intention – everything that emerges must be going towards something – have the purpose or potential for its emergence already in place.
  4. The assumption that everything, or even anything has a nature.
    1. All that it really has is a combination of sensory and cognitive qualities in relationship.
  5. The assumption that everything that exists is restricted to one quality or one nature.
    1. The branch of physics known as quantum mechanics has determined (through the famous double slit experiment, among others) that light behaves as both a wave and a particle. Most physicists view this as an anomaly and rationalize it by describing light as a probability wave. But actually, in aperceptual reality, probably nothing existing is confined to a single nature. Upon perception every phenomenon is separate, and has one, distinctive nature, but upon further investigation some phenomena reveal multiple aspects, natures or behaviors (dependent on what the experimenter is looking for). In aperceptual reality every perceived phenomenon is really a noumenal context – a field, a force, a thought or feeling – never separate, never material, never one thing.
  6. The assumption that everything that exists has a location – and that this location is fixed, determinable and observable.

More dualistic assumptions to consider next blog…

P.S. I am still envisioning a team effort around my new website-in-development.  My invitation: if you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

You can email me at – drjeisen@gmail.com

My current website is – www.drjeffeisen.com

My new website (placeholder for now) is – www.in-sane.net

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The Illusion of Human Entitlement

Not everything natural has been made for us to eat – as a matter of fact, none of it has… -Joshan

Cultivation and domestication are the stripping of the unwanted survival strategies from plants and animals so that we can better use them… –Joshan

Until recently, I have taken my humanness, with all that comes with it – its culture, its civilization, its history and diversity, its entitlement – for granted. Like the water fish swim in, it was a given, unnoticed, unremarked upon, taken-for-granted.

I felt I was part of something unique – an exception – the human exception. But I wasn’t looking at it, I was looking from it; and from that viewpoint, I, and to a lesser degree, my fellow humans, had priority over everything else that existed.

I felt – and I’m groping for words here – that this is important, this is the thing, this is the way things are, how they ought to be, how they always were. This is the universal standard.

And, then, I had an epiphany. I realized that the essence of what I was experiencing is nothing less than buying into the viewpoint of humanity as a whole. And the viewpoint of humanity is also a perceptual illusion – a collective one, and also one to be escaped from.

Just as every individual perceives from themselves as the center, and, thus, creates an individual perceptual illusion, we, as parts of the body of humanity, perceive from its center, and, thus, participate in the collective perceptual illusion of human exceptionalism.

An essential part of this illusion is the idea that earth has been given to us as an exclusive human habitat and meant to be that. The very ideas of “given” and “meant to be” imply intention and beg to be attributed to someone – and that someone, however you think of it and by any name you choose to call it, has to be a ‘God.’ And God means us to use the earth as we see fit. It, then, follows that all other living creatures are also given to us – also to be used as we see fit – to be cultivated as a source of food and/or domesticated as pets. Failing that, they are intruders, either inoffensive and to be tolerated, or dangerous, either to be avoided or exterminated.

These are all invisible and almost inescapable aspects of the viewpoint of humanity – a viewpoint which, until recently, I bought into. And by the way, they are found – or at least implicit in every God myth.

But now, in my 78th year, I have come to see that it is all an illusion, the illusion beneath which is an unsettling reality. What is that reality? It is that my humanness, with all that comes with it, is just one more stage in evolution – both biological and social – and that stage, that process, even as I write about it, is still evolving. In fact, that which we experience as the present is just a collection of snapshots, of stills soon to be memories – sort of like those memorabilia we sometimes look at depicting times past – like the Civil War or the sixties.

Do all people feel like this – take for granted and normal their existence and their environment – and from their viewpoint at the center of their world, perceive the rest of the world as ‘mine?’

Probably.

P.S. I am still envisioning a team effort around my new website-in-development.  My invitation: if you’re a big picture thinker with a sense of humor and a sense of fun – looking for ways to make a difference in this crazy world; if you have any skills in editing, website development, Internet marketing, research, etc. – or even just time to spare and would like to volunteer – let me hear from you. (Thank you!)

You can email me at – drjeisen@gmail.com

My current website is – www.drjeffeisen.com

My new website (in development) is – www.in-sane.net

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